Unrelenting Love

forest trail 2Many years ago I had a dream where I was visited by Jesus.  It was so vivid and clear that I felt and knew it was real.  In the dream… 

I was walking down a long road that was lined and covered by trees that were creating the most beautiful canopy overhead.  It was fall and the colors were amazing and vivid.  As the wind slowly rustled you could see the light dancing on the roadway.

I felt utterly alone and wishing beyond wishes that somehow my life would be worth something, that I would not be forced to forever wonder if I had a purpose or if I was from the beginning, nothing but a mistake.

As I walked down the old dirt road I could see someone walking towards me.  That person was a long ways off and I wondered what they were doing there.  As I continued to walk they were suddenly in front of me just a few feet away.  I knew without any introduction who it was and all within me jumped with joy and simultaneously shook with fear.  It was Jesus.

I had spent years calling to Him, begging Him to help me from one thing or another.  I had asked Him to help my daddy stop drinking, to stop being so angry, to just stop.  I asked over and over and over and each time I felt that my prayers fell on deaf ears, there was silence and the prayers were unheard.  My heart broke with each unanswered prayer and my belief in a God that loved me and a Jesus that saves all was shaken, of course not destroyed, but damaged.

The very moment I saw my Saviour standing there looking at me all my fears were in front of me.  The joy of seeing Him there was inside of me.  I could feel my heart leap.  But I couldn’t allow it to carry me into His arms.  I couldn’t allow it to help me feel peace.  Instead I felt the fear and the dread.  Is He here to tell me I was asking for too much, begging too much, that He had too much to do to deal with to worry about my miniature problems?  Was he there to crush my very existence because I was a mistake?  Was He there to accuse me of all the bad I had ever done, ready to sentence me to life of unbearable pain and suffering?

Hundreds of questions flew through my head in the split second before He spoke and then they were all silenced by His smile.  What a sweet smile, warm and inviting.  The very glance of His eyes melted my heart and put me at ease.  His voice was soothing and yet it was strong and had authority.

“You are my girl.” 

What did He say, surely He was mistaken, He had the wrong girl?

“You are mine and I love you, no one can harm you.  You were not a mistake and I have many plans for you, you are mine.”

I couldn’t believe that with three sentences He crushed every fear I ever had.  Tears streamed freely down my face and as they did He reached out and wiped up each and every one.  Not one fell to the ground.  I felt relief and joy and peace wash over me and as quickly as He was there, He was gone again.

To this day that memory remains.  It was a powerful, life changing moment.  His love is everlasting, unrelenting and unconditional.  It is pure.  I am thankful for a love like that, a love I don’t deserve but freely receive.  It is a love for the taking.  It is for you.  Have you had an encounter with Jesus?

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You Were Made For More…

“I know the second that I came into this earth
I was made for more than heels & rocking cute designer skirts
I got a voice and though I’m scared
I feel my words carry worth
In my darkest valleys
I could see the sun above my earth
Reaching down just to rescue me from my insecurity
All of the abuse my step-father did when I was weak
Way too young to know that I should open up my mouth to speak
Now I see, all the years I lost trying find some peace
And when my father died I swore it was the end of me
But Jesus gave me hope beyond the pain of what my eyes could see
Now I stand a daughter of a Father who won’t ever sleep
Truth has spoken and now that truth is here to set you free”

Above is an excerpt from “Darkest ValleyGroup 1 Crew

Thanks Group1 Crew for sharing such healing and honest words.

This is taken from one of my favorite groups to listen to when I need a pick me up.  This one happens to be more serious and the words above strike a painful spot in my heart.  I know the feelings that those words speak and I work tirelessly to make sure my girl has a different song to sing when she grows up.  Give your girls and boys another song to sing.

She was made for more! So were you!

Is your song different than it once was?  Is it a song filled with hope?  It can be.  You were made for so much more!  Blessings!

Unwanted Anniversaries

There are times in our lives that we are reminded by anniversaries.  Many of them are good and are celebrated and filled with joy.  But then there are those… Unwanted Anniversaries.  I have a few of those.  Today however I am lamenting over one in particular.  The death of my dad.

Now, my dad was not the best man in the world.  He didn’t win father of the year and he struggled most of his life to just get by.  He was a drinker and had times in his life where he struggled with drugs.  He could be down right mean.  But here is what I love about my dad….

He Loved Me.

He cared about what happened to me even when he didn’t show it.  He cared about who was nice or not to me and he cared about how others treated me.  He cared that I had food to eat, a nice place to live, and decent clothing to wear.  He cared that I was taken care of and not living on the streets.  He cared that I had the medicine I needed for my asthma.  He cared that I even had a dad at all.  He didn’t run away.  There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for me if he could make it happen.  He cared… He Loved Me.

Now some people would get stuck on all the bad.  But forgiveness allows me to see all the good.  Forgiveness allows me to love my dad back and allows my heart to be broken because he isn’t here.  Don’t hold bitterness in your heart.  Forgive.  Because we all have someone we love that has broken our hearts because of their own brokenness.

Boston Marathon Tragedy

4/15/13 – Another day to Never Forget…

Yesterday was my birthday.  I have trouble with my birthday each year due to sadness that fills the month of April in our home and the memories of things in my past that haunt me on a regular basis, thought not as much as they could if Christ wasn’t ministering to my heart on a continual basis.

Yesterday my family wanted to make the day special and all I wanted was to stay home and spend time alone in the quietness of them.  Not far into my day as I searched the web I was shocked and saddened to see the events unfolding at the Boston Marathon.  Sadness, anger and fear rose inside of me as I sat thinking about how I watched 9/11 unfold in the exact same way, watching live as the second plane flew into the tower, watching them fall and watching thousands die.  With disbelief I watched yesterday and thought “maybe it isn’t so.”  But it was.  Lives were ended, ripped apart and torn into pieces and not one person could change the fact that the horrid actions of a few changed the lives of so many forever.

I don’t know anyone that was hurt, but it affected me none-the-less.  When those that are loved by God (all of the human race) are hurt He cries, and so do I.  It isn’t His will for anyone to be hurt the way they were and are being hurt still today.  But He is with us giving us strength even when we don’t feel Him.  I have faced some terrible things and I didn’t always feel Him when I was going through those things, but I surely saw His hand when the time was right.  Seeing what He saved me from truly gives me a perspective of How incredibly loving and HOLY He is.  I don’t deserve to be saved, forgiven and I don’t deserve to receive any blessings at all… but He provides all those things anyway… freely.

I have been playing the song “Lamb of God” by Tenth Avenue North over and over again and what strikes me is that no matter what tragedy falls us, no matter who wills to destroy us He is still Holy, Worthy and Able and I will trust in Him for all my needs especially when I understand nothing… nothing at all.

This verse stands out to me more than any other…

“How do I dare approach this Holy One
The One who was and is, was and is to come
Robed in righteousness and mystery
We have only just begun, just begun to see
So I come broken through
The blood of Your Son and I kneel before You”

I pray for every single person hurt by this tragedy, that the Lord not only heals wounds of the body and of the heart but also of the spirit.  I pray the blood of Jesus over each person and pray that they would know His healing touch and His deep and forever free gift of salvation.  I pray that they would see that He is a God who is mightier than any foe out there and that all He wants to do is to be the one to fight for us.  All we need to do is ask and believe He will do it.  Even if it happens in a way we are not expecting.  God bless each of you in Boston and elsewhere affected by this tragedy.

 

Covenant Love

I have been studying about Covenant Love again, you know… the kind you find in the Bible… the kind that God has with His people???   I wasn’t let down in the least and with great joy I was surprised to learn some amazing things.  This covenant thing God has for us is pretty amazing and much deeper than most of us in the Western world can even fathom.  In our country a covenant is important, but not much more (if any) than a contract.  We make a covenant in marriage but how many people in this country break that?  That number is staggering, even amongst Christians where it shouldn’t be.

But to God and the people of the bible, a covenant was something extremely serious, it was most of the time lifelong (sometimes generational), it was binding and unbreakable.  The basic covenant ceremony was very detailed and even gruesome in some ways (animal sacrifice, sharing of your own blood) because it was meant to drive home the point between two parties that the covenant being made, was serious, final and unbreakable (not to be entered into lightly).

A covenant brought together two parties and those two parties were now one, they shared strengths and weaknesses and because of that they were truly bound in a way nothing else could bind them.

Our Lord made covenants with us in the Old Testament, and we constantly failed our part.  But God never failed His.  Time and time again He would deliver us from our mistakes, our failings, our sins and give us great rewards and favor, even though we certainly did not deserve it.  But He made a covenant, and even though we did not hold our end up, HE held his up without reservation because HE promised and HE never fails a promise.  He never promises us something and doesn’t deliver, ever!  Can we say the same?  Even with good intentions, we fail.  But He doesn’t, EVER!

The New Testament is all about His new covenant with us.  And as with the Old Testament covenant, the Lord has held true to His part of the new covenant, and what a wonderful thing that is.

The Lord sent His only Son, the Son He loved, to come down here on earth to live amongst us and be tempted just as we are; only He lived a pure and holy life, one without sin.  He then sentenced His only Son to die a horrible and terrible death.  Why?  To cover your sin, to cover my sin, to make a new covenant with us so that we do not have to suffer a life without our Lord.

Jesus, the Son of God gave us the ultimate sacrifice that will free us of our bondage to sin.  Just like in the Old Testament in Genesis 22:8 when Abraham takes his son Isaac up on the mountain to sacrifice him to the Lord, Isaac asked his dad where the lamb is they were going to sacrifice and Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering my son.”  And that is what He did.

Silhouettes of three crosses on a hilltop

Remember Abraham didn’t have to sacrifice his son because the Lord provided a ram for him to use instead because of Abraham’s obedience.  The same is true for today, the Lord provided the sacrifice for us and that was His Son’s life (Jesus) on the cross.  And because it was a perfect sacrifice it was once and it was for all. Now all we have to do is accept His gift, ask for forgiveness, show true Godly sorrow and repentance by turning from our sin and following HIM!

What an amazing gift we have, and how much more amazing when we realize how serious God takes His part in the covenant.  How serious will you be with Him, will you accept His new covenant and how serious will you take His new covenant?  And after thinking about what a covenant really is, will you take your covenants (promises) with others more serious?  Never forget, even if you can’t hold your end up in a covenant, God never fails His end.